With many health-conscious consumers in todays world, the healthier choice is quickly becoming the more popular choice.
However, with the intelligent marketing of the food industry, it is becoming increasingly difficulty to tell if a product is actually as healthy as it seems. I’m here to reveal common misleading foods that aren’t as healthy as they appear on the package.
- Nutella – This adored breakfast spread sure looks like a healthy choice, especially with the hazelnuts on the label. Sure, this spread is made with hazelnuts – but also with sugar, palm oil and artificial flavours. In fact, it only has 2.5 actual hazelnuts per serving – providing only 2 grams of protein, but a whole 21 grams of sugar! That’s a guaranteed sugar rush for your morning commute.
- Fruit bars (Fruit-to-Go’s) – This popular kids snack claims to be ‘100% fruit with no added sugar and preservatives’. However during the processing of fruit to create this bar, there is nothing but sugar left. Each of these 14 gram bars contain 11 grams of sugar, with minimal other nutritive benefits.
- Smart Pasta – We have been told that picking whole foods, including whole grains is the best nutritional option. ‘Smart’ pasta was invented for those who wanted the taste of white pasta, but the benefits of whole grain. However, the synthesized inulin and oat hull fibre added to white pasta does not bring the same nutrition benefits as whole, intact grains. Sure, this synthesized fibre will help you feel full, but whole, intact fibre brings a whole hoax of benefits, including cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Nutri-grain Bars – Another popular kids (and adults) snack that is convenient and appears to be a great choice. It also continues to appear to be great when you see that one bar provides you with a little bit of B vitamins, Calcium, Iron etc. This is because there is over 50 ingredients in this bar! You’re better off reaching for a bar with minimal additives, colours and added sugars. Try looking for bars that have 10 ingredients or less.
- Veggie Chips – Feeling snacky? These ‘chips’ seem like a great choice! However all of the manufacturing that these vegetables go through to make chips, means you’re getting a ton of sodium (and maybe even sugar) without all of the nutrients.
- Flavoured Yogurt -Without question, yogurt is a wonderful healthy food. That is, it was before all of the sugar and extras were added to the flavoured versions. Flavoured yogurt can sometimes contain as much sugar as a dessert -with 20 grams or more for just a few ounces of yogurt. Keep yogurt healthy by looking for plain versions (ideally less than 8 grams) without artificial sweeteners, and add a bit of sweetener or berries for taste.
- 100-Calorie Snack Packs – It’s great that food companies are helping us with our portion sizes, as we know it is easy to overeat in our society that values super-sizing foods. However, these snacks are typically lacking any nutritional value, as they are usually over-processed and sugar-laden. There is also potential that you may overindulge in these snacks too, as you may think you’re making a healthy choice so you can have double or triple.
- Spinach Wraps – Most of us recognize spinach as a healthy food, however that’s in it’s natural form – it doesn’t have the same nutritional benefits in its processed, refined ‘powder’ form. Looking at the ingredient list of a popular brand of spinach wraps, spinach powder is listed at the 7th ingredient on the food label, with the majority of the ingredients being the same, refined white flour as white flour wraps.
- Pre-made Smoothies – Didn’t have time to blend together some fresh fruit and veggies at home? You may find yourself reaching for some of the popular pre-made smoothies found in many grocery stores. Is this an equally healthy choice? Well first off, these smoothies aren’t made from real fruit – they’re made from ‘fruit concentrates’. Fruit concentrates are made by taking a fruit juice, heating it to a high temperature and evaporating off the water. What does that leave behind? Sugar. And lots of it. About 42 grams of sugar in a standard 325 ml portion size to be exact. Sure, fruit has sugar, but it also has fibre and other nutrients right? Well only 2 grams of fibre made it into this sugar-laden drink, along with insignificant amounts (less than 10% daily value) of many major nutrients.